Protein Data Bank Advisory Committee Meets, Assesses Impact of Accelerating Use of Synchrotrons for Protein Crystallography


The Protein Data Bank (PDB) for three-dimensional structures of proteins has been managed since 1999 by the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB), whose members are Rutgers University, the National Institute of Standards & Technology, and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The project receives funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the BER program at DOE.

The PDB Advisory Committee has just held its annual meeting, this year at UCSD. The PDB received 2961 new structure depositions in calendar year 2000, and showed excellent performance in handling the depositions. There is, however, concern that the number of depositions will accelerate rapidly over the next few years, due to several large projects (“structural genomics”) that will focus on high-throughput structure determination including the DOE synchrotron light sources. The Advisory Committee urged the PDB management to establish closer ties with the synchrotrons to ensure reliable and efficient transfer of new structural data.

The PDB has improved its international ties. The eleven-member advisory committee includes representatives from England, Japan, The Netherlands, and New Zealand. Structures can now be deposited to partners in England and Japan, and structural data can be retrieved from web sites.